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0176 Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1
Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1 / Page 176 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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[Chap. IV


closely resembling by their shape and painted decoration, with cross lines on the inside, those common at Shâhi-tump. From previously disturbed deposits may have come two metal articles found quite apart, one part of a badly corroded cup and the other a large flat plaque which might have formed part of a mirror.

Considerations of time imposed by regard for the programme ahead obliged me to restrict our stay at Khurâb to three days, and excavation work to the limited ground where, as already mentioned, the previous burrowing of villagers afforded definite indications of ancient remains. But the results of the work practicable under these conditions were sufficiently consistent to settle essential points concerning the character of the site. It is certain that the remains found so close to the surface are those of a burial-ground of chalcolithic times. From the way in which human bones, where traceable, were disposed, it may be concluded that the prevailing custom was fractional burial of the bodies of the dead previously exposed. It deserves to be specially noted that while copper or bronze objects among the funerary deposits were comparatively frequent, not a single stone implement was discovered at the site. It would scarcely be safe to take this negative fact for evidence of a comparatively late phase of chalcolithic civilization, were it not for some points of resemblance displayed by the ceramic ware to the pottery found in the funerary deposits of Shâhi-tump which, by their very position on the top of a considerable mound, are shown to belong to a later period.4

Before touching upon such points of contact it will be convenient to describe the several types of vessels prevalent among the funerary furniture of Khurâb. Here, too, as at Shâhi-tump and among the vastly more abundant painted pottery from the burial deposits of Susa I, a close relation is observed between the shape of the vessel and the scheme of decoration used on it. The consequent limitation of motifs can obviously be best explained by the convention which tradition fostered by long-continued observance of religious rites is bound to establish and preserve. Thus in the type represented by the numerous shallow flat- bottomed bowls the painted decoration of the inside consists in the middle either of a Svastika usually `fringed' ( see B. ii. 159; c. 232, 235; Pl. XII) or else of `fringed' M shapes variously disposed and varying in number (B. ii. 151, 152, 155, 157; Pl. XIv). It is probable that these two motifs had a symbolic significance, but this has yet to be ascertained. There is much uniformity also in the painted designs running below the edges of these bowls which measure up to 8-9 inches in diameter.

A particularly frequent type is represented by deeper bowls having a small

4 Cf. Tour in Gedrosia, pp. 98, 103.